President Donald Trump’s partisan statements have often invited the wrath of critics — but none more so when he pushed the blame for the notorious white supremacist Charlottesville rally on both sides.
When Trump claimed there was blame “on both sides” in the white supremacist rally that claimed the life of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, it was apparently too much to handle for former Vice President Joe Biden.
Talking at an annual dinner held by LGBTQ rights group the Human Rights Campaign, Biden lamented his and former President Barack Obama’s decision to stay mum on Trump’s presidency for as long as they did.
“Barack and I agreed to remain silent for a while to give this administration a chance to get up and running the first year,” Biden said. “God forgive me.”
However, the former VP said his silence would have meant “complicity” after Trump failed to denounce neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville in 2017.
“We have leaders who at the time when that occurred, when these guys were accompanied by white supremacists and Ku Klux Klan ... making a comparison saying there are good people in both groups,” Biden said. “What has become of us? Our children are listening. Our silence is complicity.”
Biden first denounced Trump in an op-ed in “The Atlantic” in August and then later in a speech in October 2017, only a couple of months after the rally, when he said the country was going a “very dark path.”
In the op-ed, he wrote, “Today we have an American president who has publicly proclaimed a moral equivalency between neo-Nazis and Klansmen and those who would oppose their venom and hate. We have an American president who has emboldened white supremacists with messages of comfort and support.”
Obama, on the other hand, waited until recently to publicly condemn his successor, as he started campaigning for congressional Democrats.
On the controversial Trump comments on the neo-Nazi rally, Obama said, "How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?”
Although, Trump walked back on comments later, allegedly unwillingly after he was insisted by his advisers, the damage had already been done.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas